sundarbansWildlife Sanctuary West Bengal
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sundarbansWildlife Sanctuary West Bengal

  • Location : deltaic region of the state of West Bengal

  • Coverage area : 139,500 ha

  • Best time to visit : September to March

  • Main attraction : Royal Bengal Tigers

Go on a Safari to sundarbansWildlife Sanctuary - The Original Abode of the Bengal Tigers

India is blessed with a bountiful of natural resources and a major portion of it comprises of the forests and the wildlife reserves. These reserve forests are the homes to various unique and rare species of flora and fauna, which capture the attention and interests of the tourists and wildlife lovers. The endangered species of wild animals are very well protected in these wildlife sanctuaries. If you are wondering where to visit in the coming vacation, why not consider visiting a wildlife sanctuary that homes a large variety of animal and flora species.


An Introduction to sundarbansWildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal

The original home to the fierce and glorious Royal Bengal Tigers, sundarbansis one of the oldest and largest wildlife reserves in India. It can also be termed as a biosphere reserve and a tiger reserve. The formation of this national park dates back to the 1970s. sundarbans is one of the prime national parks that came under the ‘Tiger Project’ an initiative taken by the Indian Government to conserve the tigers. This is one of the largest tiger reserves in India and this famous biosphere reserve has numerous species of trees and plants, which its rich foliage comprises of. The presence of a large number of Sundari trees (Heritiera Fomes) in this park gave it the name ‘Sundarbans’. Other names have been given to this national park, such as ‘the beautiful forest’. In 1977, sundarbansTiger Reserve was declared a wildlife sanctuary by the Government of India and on 4th may 1984 it got the status of a national park. And in 1989, the entire area of the sundarbans was declared a biosphere reserve. This national park comprises of 54 small islands divided by several tributaries of River Ganges.


Let’s Learn About the Location

sundarbansNational Park is a part of the Sundarban Delta, the largest delta in the world, created by the confluence of three mighty rivers – the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna in the Bay of Bengal. This Gangetic plain is covered with thick mangrove forests, which is famed to be the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world. The national park is located in the deltaic region of the state of West Bengal in India. It shares its boundaries with the neighboring country, Bangladesh.


The Mesmerizing Natural Landscape

The mangrove forests of the sundarbanscover a widespread area of about 10000 sq. km. spanning from the Hooghly River in West Bengal, India to the Baleshwari River in Bangladesh. However, in West Bengal, the forest area spreads over 4260 sq. km. The entire forest area is divided into four sectors, which are completely protected and have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites – sundarbansNational Park, sundarbansWest, sundarbansEast, and sundarbansSouth Wildlife Sanctuaries. The area of sundarbansforest comprises two eco-regions – sundarbansFreshwater Swamp Forests and sundarbansMangroves. The vegetation type is moist deciduous or tropical moist. Mother Nature has bestowed all the natural beauty to this wildlife park in the forms of meandering rivers, babbling springs, estuaries, backwaters, creeks, evergreen vegetation, and diverse wildlife.


The Climate That Prevails

A Tropical climate prevails in sundarbanswhich ensures that the area experiences hot summers and cold winters. sundarbansreceives an average maximum and minimum temperature of 20 degrees and 48 degrees. The summer season comprises of the period from March to May with a temperature of 30 degrees – 42 degrees. The winter season extends from the month of November to February with a temperature of 10 degrees – 35 degrees. Rainfall is heavy during the monsoons, which comprises of the months from June to October and the temperature at this time ranges from 25 degrees – 30 degrees and the humidity rises about 80% due to its nearness to the Bay of Bengal. Between the months of May and October, the area suffers from storms and cyclones. Due to extremely heavy rainfall during the monsoon, the area often becomes flooded.


Ideal Time to Pay a Visit

The months from September to March are the best time to visit the Sunderbans. December to February is also considered ideal to plan a trip to this park as the temperature remains low and the area remains dry during this time. During the summer, the temperature remains very high and the monsoon brings heavy rainfall in the area making it difficult to explore the park. However, the lush green surroundings of the park during the rainy season make it more attractive and thus, you may plan a visit during the monsoon time to witness that enchanting beauty of the greenery. But, if you want to enjoy touring sundarbansthe most, you should pay a visit during the winters when the weather is very pleasant.


Wildlife Sanctuaries You Will Find Nearby

The area of sundarbansis divided into core and buffer areas. The national park is the core area and the other wildlife sanctuaries located nearby are - Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary, Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary, and Holiday Island Wildlife Sanctuary.


Awe-Inspiring Diversity in Animal Species

Like any other national park, you will get to see a wide variety of fauna in this reserve forest. However, the tiger population in this forest is beyond any comparison. This park boasts on its highest number of Bengal tigers which is more than any other wildlife reserve in the world. More than 400 Royal Bengal Tigers are there in the park and approximately 30000 spotted deer can be found. It is needless to say that this wildlife park is extremely rich in the population of avifauna, aquafauna, and reptiles. Many invertebrate species are also here.

Wild animals

The mangrove swamp has numerous crocodiles and other wild animals. The animal species include the following - Chital, Monkeys, Fox, Indian Porpoise, Fox, Wild Boar, Rhesus Macaques, Small Indian Civets, Common Otter, Black Finless Porpoise, etc. Many endangered animal species have made this bio-reserve their home, such as – King Crabs, Batagur Baska, Olive Ridley, aquatic mammals like Irrawaddy, Gangetic Dolphins, Hawks Bill Turtle, River Terrapin, Mangrove Horseshoe Crab, etc. Varieties of freshwater turtles can also be found here.

Birds

More than 210 species of birds are here and the long list includes - Open Billed Stork, Wild Ibis, Heron, Pelican, Siberian Ducks, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Short Toed Eagle, Sandpipers, Spoonbills, Green Shanks, Caspian Terns, Brown Fish Owl, Whimbrels, Stilts, Thick Knees, Curlew, Shikara, Osprey, Brahmini Kites, Common Kingfishers, Cuckoos, Geese, Crested Serpent Eagles, Sunbirds, Green Pigeons, Seagulls, Egrets, Cormorants, etc. One can get a fine glimpse of various migratory birds in the Sajnekhali area, notable for its bird population

Inhabitants of water

Aquatic animals of many endangered species are found in the rivers of sundarbans- varieties of sharks like Ganges Sharks, Hammer Headed Sharks, Pondicherry Sharks, Indian Dog Sharks, Bull Sharks, Black Tip Sharks, etc. Fishes found in sundarbansare famous all over the country – Hilsa, Bhetki, Parshey, Pomphret, Topshey, Gurjali, Tiger Prawns, and many more varieties.

Other aquatic animals include – Silver Carp, Star Fish, Butter Fish, Skipping Frogs, Tree Frogs, etc.

Reptiles

57 species of snakes can be spotted here, which include King Cobra, Common Cobra, Indian Python, Russel’s Viper, Common Krait, Green Whip Snake, Rat Snake, Chequered Keelback, Giant Lizards, Water Monitor Lizards, Salt-Water Crocodiles, etc.


The Flourishing Flora

About 78 varieties of mangroves are found in this park and to name a few are Sundari, Goran, Gewa, Garjan, Passur, Kankra, Dhundul, Keora, and many more. Grasses like Speargrass and Khagra spread over a large area inside the forest. 1586 species of other plants can be found here, which is a huge number.


How to reach the National park ?

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Connectivity to sundarbansis possible by air, rail, road, and waterways. The town of Gosaba, about 50 km away from the Sunderbans, is the closest to it. Other close-by towns are Canning, Sonakhali, Namkhana, Raidighi, Najat, etc.

By air

The nearest airport to reach this national park is the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. Once you arrive at the airport, you can hire a cab and reach Sunderbans, which is about 166 km from here.

By road

A large network of roadways and highways lead you to sundarbansand this is a very convenient option for you if you are coming from any other city in West Bengal or the neighboring states. There are many buses running from Kolkata to Namkhana, Sonakhali, Raidighi, and Najat and from there, you can board a motor launch and reach Sunderbans.

By rail

Canning Railway Station is the nearest rail station to sundarbansnational park, about 48 km away from the park.

By water

If you want to gain a unique traveling experience to the sundarbansWildlife Sanctuary, choose the waterway. As there are a number of water bodies present in and around the park, it is convenient as well as, enjoyable to reach there by riding a boat or a lavish cruise. sundarbansDelta, Namkhana, and Jambudeep are linked with the national park by waterways, any of which you can avail.

Availability of Accommodation

Some of the best places to stay in sundarbansare – Royal Sundarban Wild Resort, Sunderban Tiger Camp, Bali Jungle Camp, Tiger Camp, Vivada Cruises, Sundar Chital Tourist Lodge, Hotel East Coast, Sunderban Mangrove Retreat, Tiger Land, Banani Resort, Prakrity Village Resort Sundarbans, and many more.

Availability of Accommodation

Some of the best places to stay in sundarbansare – Royal Sundarban Wild Resort, Sunderban Tiger Camp, Bali Jungle Camp, Tiger Camp, Vivada Cruises, Sundar Chital Tourist Lodge, Hotel East Coast, Sunderban Mangrove Retreat, Tiger Land, Banani Resort, Prakrity Village Resort Sundarbans, and many more.

The Watchtowers

The tourists can get a complete view of the sundarbansarea and enjoy the wildlife sightings through these watchtowers - Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Burirdabri, Dobanki, Jhingekhali, Netidhopani, and Bonnie Camp.

Exciting Things to Do

There are a lot of interesting places to visit while you are in the Sunderbans.

  • Visit the ruins of the ancient temple at Netidhopan, which dates back to 400 years.

  • Want to sight the Olive Ridley Turtles, Barking Deer, Kanak, and other endangered species? Then visit Haliday Island, also known as Holiday Island.

  • For the best wildlife sighting amidst the wilderness, visit the Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka.

  • Dublar Char Island, Tin Kona Island, Bharat Sevashram Sangha Temple, Sagar Lighthouse, and Mangrove Eco Garden are some notable nearby sites to visit

  • You can also indulge in joyful coastal trekking at Chargheri Char.

Safaris in Sunderbans

Due to the presence of large water bodies, boat safari is the most convenient option for the tourist to explore the vast area of wilderness. The boat safaris here are operated by the Government of West Bengal and different types of boats are available for a short and long period of time.

Timings : Boat safaris start at 8.30 am and continue till 4 pm. After 6.30 pm boats are not allowed inside the park.

You can also opt for a cruise tour, which is also organized by the West Bengal Government. The 2-night cruise tour takes you to Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Jhingakhali, and Dobanki watchtowers. 1-night cruise tour to Jhingakhali is also available. Maximum 50 people are allowed in these group tours.

Timings : The cruise tours begin at 8 am and ends at 5 pm – 5.30 pm.

Private boats and cruises are also available. The prices vary as per the size of the cruise or boat and the amenities provided. For an overnight stay, extra charges need to be paid.


Map

Related Wildlife Species Founds in India

Tour Booking

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